Review by Zoe Biggs of The Franklys (see also review by Tony Rounce)
Back in the heady days of gig going rather than gig streaming, I shuffled myself over to Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney to witness the live spectacle of Bugeye. As soon as they took to the stage, the room surged with an infectious energy. There were balloons at some point, I think, and there should have been glow sticks raised in celebration to this energetic, glittering, disco pop-punk London four piece.
‘Ready Steady Bang’ – the debut album that kicks off with singer and guitarist Angela Martin insisting ‘time and time again, you fail to see my point’. I’m instantly hooked. It’s not even 30 seconds into the entire album when there’s a shimmering synth hook thrown in by Grace Healey. I had to rewind to catch that again. Paula Snow’s bass comes in like something straight from a stomping 70s disco floor; a cut from Donna Summer or (more recently) Gossip. Kerrie Smith on drums is holding it down, keeping it solid then we hit not even a minute into the album and out comes this totally different, wild beat which she then steers effortlessly back into the verse, driving the song on. Like it was nothing.
Ok, so I wasn’t ready, despite the warning of the album title. And don’t worry; I’m not here to give a second by second account of each song, although I could absolutely do so. There’s so much packed into just under 30 minutes, it’s truly astounding. We have lurking, creepy psychedelic riffs mixed with spiky lyrics contemplating the birth of consumerism on ‘Shake and Bake’. ‘Sunday Monday’ sparkles and spins; showing off helter skelter riffs comparable to The Like. ‘Electric’ swaggers and saunters; if Elastica had thrown in some disco beats, this would have been the result. Oh, and did I mention that this gem is brought to us by Reckless Yes, who are continually knocking it out the park with every passing release.
Not content with ‘only’ releasing their debut album, Bugeye also have a podcast ‘Rock, Pop, Rambles’ which sees (hears) them discuss various legends of rock and pop alongside sharing music from more newer, emerging bands. And Angela is also one half of the masterminds behind the festival CroCro Land. Phew. Just like their music, Bugeye themselves are fiercely energetic and tirelessly pushing forward.
‘Ready, Steady, Bang’ is a ride. It’s Robots in Disguise plus The Long Blondes plus Blondie plus Altered Images. That’s a lot of plusses. All adding up to the unique world of Bugeye.